In an attempt to counter Students Federation of India’s (SFI) screening of the controversial BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots at the University of Hyderabad , RSS’ student wing ABVP on Thursday organised a screening of ‘The Kashmir Files’ on the campus.
“The screening of the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ at the varsity on the occasion of Republic Day was successful, with over 400 students turning up to see the controversial two-part series produced by the BBC,” the SFI said.
According to media reports, ABVP had announced the screening of ‘The Kashmir Files’ at the same venue, North Shopcom, to counter SFI’s move but the SFI later shifted its venue to North LH to avoid confrontation.
UoH Registrar Devesh Nigam in a statement said the Dean-Students’ Welfare had counselled the students group and issued an appeal not to do any screening of the films in view of the law and order issue, and forthcoming end semester exams starting from next week. However, the students decided to go ahead with their programme schedule.
Although the registrar claimed there was no untoward incident during the screenings, a group of ABVP members alleged that the security personnel did not allow them to enter the varsity premises along with the screening equipment.
“The University Administration tried to stop the screening of the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’. When ABVP Karyakartas were bringing the projector from the main gate, University Security manhandled our Karyakartas. There was another attempt by the administration to seize our projector. We protested at the main gate and we have arranged everything for the screening. We appeal to the student community to join us in large numbers at Ambedkar Chowk (North ShopCom),” a social media post by the ABVP HCU said.
For the second time in a week, the BBC documentary on PM Modi was screened at the University even as the administration said it had not granted permission for it.
Also read | University of Hyderabad registrar seeks report on screening of BBC documentary on PM Modi
The Fraternity Movement in UoH campus, a students’ group, had earlier organised the screening on January 21 at the varsity campus without prior notice or permission, prompting the University authorities to seek a report on the incident for taking necessary action.
Last week, the Central Government had directed social media platforms Twitter and Youtube to block links to the BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when PM Modi was the chief minister of the State.
The Ministry of External Affairs has trashed the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset. However, Opposition parties have slammed the government’s move to block access to the documentary as censorship.
Student bodies and youth wings of Opposition parties, defying the government directive announced their intention to hold screenings of the documentary at college campuses in various States.
(With inputs from agencies)